SEVERANCE, GORDON AND HELMS HEADLINE NHRA SPRINGNATS SPORTSMAN CHAMPIONS
A pair of NHRA Lucas Oil champions met on the big stage during the final round of Top Alcohol Dragster division during the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.
Defending Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series World Champions, Joey Severance and Mia Tedesco, Murrysville, Pa., clashed in the final round.
Severance, the defending NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster champion used a better reaction time and a 5.203 elapsed time to beat the defending Super Gas champion Tedesco, who also races in the alcohol dragster division.
"We were a little scared coming into second round today just because the weather had changed so much, and we’re usually on the edge there," Severance admitted. "We have had troubles before with the good air. We were good enough today to get down it, and everything ran great."
Doug Gordon took the Top Alcohol Funny Car title by getting the best of fellow Californian Jay Payne in the final round. In doing so, Gordon recorded the quickest and fastest pass of the weekend, also career bests, for the win at 5.428 seconds, 272.12 mph.
"We were nervous coming into today," Gordon said. "There were big changes in weather. We were good in the heat; we thought we had everybody beat in the heat. And then all of a sudden we get this weather and were like, ‘Ah, man, I hope we can keep up.' And we did."
Kevin Helms. Schriver, La., scored the Stock Eliminator crown beating Austin Ford with a 10.096, 121.74.
"We’re fixing to come out with a new blown shootout car, hopefully testing this Thursday," Helms said. "Hopefully we’ll be in that game pretty soon. That’s going to be a lot of fun. A lot of work, but a lot of fun.
"I’d like to dedicate this one to Randy Payne, a good friend of ours, Stock Eliminator racer from Division 2. He just passed away recently, and he was just one of a kind. We miss him."
Helms nearly doubled up on the weekend, but fell short in Super Stock against Norvell Bowers, Sulphur Springs, Texas. Bowers recorded his winning pass at 10.587, 124.18; Helms came in at 9.383, 130.15.
Alan Savage, Mexia, Texas, and Britt Cummings, Hammond, La., battled in the final round of Super Comp. Savage took the better light, taking home the national event Wally trophy, running 8.888, 182.01. Cummings finished at 8.876, 166.23.
The Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs final round featured a battle for Texas bragging rights. J.R. Baxter, Waxahachie, and William Kruse of Alvin, took the starting lines. Kruse went red at the line, getting off too early by just .004 seconds giving the Baxter the win and third in-a-row in Top Dragster at the SpringNationals. Baxter finished at 6.130, 227.31.
Keith Raftery, Lake Charles, La., grabbed the lead and the winning pass at 6.479, 195.68, to defeat Vince Hoda, D’Iberville, Miss., 6.851, 198.93; in the Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs championship round.
Jay Turner, Julian, N.C., continued the defense of his 2016 NHRA Top Fuel Harley Championship recording a pass of 6.219, 222.47, defeating Bob Malloy, Glen Mills, Pa., 6.312, 209.88.
The other drivers visiting the winner’s circle were Steve Collier in Super Gas and Chris Vang in Super Street.
The following are the final results from the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purples Raceway:
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER
Joey Severance, 5.203, 275.39 def. Mia Tedesco, 5.445, 264.70
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR
Doug Gordon, ’15 Camaro, 5.428, 272.12 def. Jay Payne, ’17 Camaro, 11.171, 66.34
Norvell Bowers, ’83 Firebird, 10.587 124.18 def. Kevin Helms, ’10 Challenger, 9.383, 130.15
Kevin Helms, ’13 Challenger, 10.096, 121.74 def. Austin Ford, ’16 Mustang, 9.632, 131.56
Alan Savage, 8.888, 182.01 def. Britt Cummings, 8.876, 166.23
Steve Collier, ’72 Vega, 9.900, 167.66 def. Roger Warren, ’63 Corvette, 9.899, 162.00
Chris Vang, ’67 Chevelle, 10.834, 137.72 def. Val Harmon, ’67 Nova, 10.876, 152.99
Keith Raftery, ’68 Camaro, 6.479, 195.68 def. Vince Hoda, ’68 Camaro, 6.851, 198.93
J.R. Baxter, 6.130, 227.31 def. William Kruse, Foul-Redlight
TOP FUEL HARLEY
Jay Turner, ’17 Triple J, 6.219, 222.47 def. Bob Malloy, ’04 Buell, 6.312, 209.88